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Viewpoint

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Boston 42, Us 10, John 6, Atlanta 6, Olympics 5, Dave Zirin 4, Steve King 3, Fbi 3, Subsaharan Africa 3, David Laska 2, Aki Peritz 2, Alexis Mcgill Johnson 2, John Fuglesang 2, The Nation 2, The City 2, Huffington 2, Rick Ungar 2, Rupert Murdoch 2, Eric Boehlert 2, New York 2,
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  Current    Viewpoint    News/Business.   
   (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    April 16, 2013
    5:00 - 6:01pm PDT  

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richard, the boy killed in the marathon attacks. on the gun control issue there will be a vote at 4:00 eastern obviously. ben from "the young turks." mark thompson from edge. jamie dewolf, thank you all so much. "viewpoint" is next. >> john: good evening, i'm john fuglesang. thank you so much for joining us. this is "viewpoint." while the nation continues to mourn the victims of the attack on the boston marathon, a picture of what exactly happened has become clear. while the why and the who remain uncertain. here's president obama who will travel to boston on thursday, updating the nation, earlier today. >> obama: this was a heinous and cowardly act. and given what we now know about what took place the fbi is investigating it as an act of terrorism. what we don't yet know, however is who carried out this attack or why whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist
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organization, foreign or domestic or was the act of a malevolent individual. >> john: what we do know is that around 2:50 p.m. yesterday two bombs exploded within 15 second and 500 feet of each other near the end of the boston marathon killing three people and injuring an additional 176. the bombs were reportedly built inside six liter pressure cook ers. they were packed with ball bearings nails and black powder to maximize harm to those nearby. now, earlier accounts of at least two additional device being discovered in boston were not accurate. pictures just released by whdh in boston, sent to the fbi purport to show a suspicious package in an area directly impacted by the explosion. while photos released by waga in atlanta claim to show the remnants of the pressure cookers used in the attack.
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now, additional reports claim that authorities have recovered a circuit board that may have been used to trigger the explosions. one person of interest of saudi dissent was questioned and detained by authorities and his apartment was subjected to a search but he has since been released. as of now, the fbi has announced no suspects in this attack. but while details on the perpetrator or perpetrators remains few and far between details on the victims are sadly emerging and one of the three victims who lost their lives two have been identified. crystal candle, a 29-year-old restaurant work whoasht to the marathon to take a picture of her friend's boyfriend crossing the finish line and martin richard, an 8-year-old who went to watch his father run and can be seen her holding a sign he made that says no more hurting people peace. the third victim is reported to be a graduate student at boston university. meanwhile, reinforcing boston's reputation for resilience, a group of boston college undergrads is organizing an event on facebook titled boston marathon the last five miles
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where this friday, participants will walk the final five miles of the marathon, explaining that the march will be for anyone who did not get to finish, for anyone who was injured and for anyone who lost their life, we will walk. we will walk to show that we decide when our marathon ends. and over 13,000 people have signed up thus far. joining us now from massachusetts is christina wilkie, reporter for "the huffington post." thank you so much for joining us this evening. >> thanks so much for having me. >> john: you were in boston today. what was the mood of the city? >> this was a city in recovery. whereas i expected when i arrived at 7:30 this morning to see a potentially a situation that was where a city was within paralysis or life wasn't going on and people were just stopping to wonder what happened and how this could have happened. the people i spoke to today were going to work. they were taking their children
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out. they were stepping out with their families and their dogs and as they explained it to me, they refused to stay home as an act of defiance. they won't be terrorized. >> john: that's brilliant to hear. one of the major questions you're hearing from folks in the streets of boston as you walk around and talk to them? >> right. people are obviously concerned about, obviously of who the culprit is. we've had -- this is almost -- so many conflicting reports and retracted reports in the past 24 hours. this is fairly common both in the high stress situations but also when you have an explosive device there is incredibly much damage. so we've heard so many little pieces. people -- the people i spoke to today were concerned that this person be caught but they seemed also more concerned with how their city would pull together with how their city would rebuild. with getting constituents services to people. i saw senator elizabeth warren
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today at a constituency services event downtown in back bay. these are people whose cars had been moved to place they didn't expect them to or couldn't reach their cars because they were in singled out location. they just needed help. and there was an amazing sense of efficiency and it was more than neighborliness. it was administrative. people knew what was going on and were taking charge. i felt that all over the city. >> john: relief to hear that panic hasn't overtaken that. the people of boston are joining together and taking care of each other. i'm curious what you've heard about the state of the investigation. of course, the web is rife with rumors. is the word on the street the same around boston? are people trading theories? are there rumors going around to the people? >> people are trading theories. i won't trade them on national media but there are theories going around. i think one of the things we saw this afternoon with both the president and then governor
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deval patrick stressed to the country that jumping to conclusions isn't the right thing to do right now. what we're seeing the investigation take a turn for is seeking out the bomb and the bombs and the bomb's signatures and every bomb has a signature of its maker. these were relatively complicated. they weren't pipe bombs which are some of the simplest forms of bombs. if they were pressure cooker bombs, that requires a level of sophistication that may very well have a signature on it. bomb makers make their bombs generally the same way every time. and so the investigation right now is meticulously putting together every piece they can of the bomb in the hopes that they'll find similar instances somewhere in the world whether it is in the united states or abroad. and they'll get that much closer without potentially fingering or looking at suspects who may not have anything to do with this. so they're really going for the physical facts. >> john: the city has already
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announced that the boston marathon will be held next year. i would predict that would be the most joyful sporting event in boston, topping even the sox whipping the series. does that surprise you with the folks you've spoken to? does it speak to the resilience of the city? >> the runners today were amazing. i saw so many marathon jackets blue and yellow jackets. everyone who had them, it seemed, was wearing one of theirs. the runners were out. there were people jogging which was a surprise to me. less than 12 hours after such a difficult thing had happened. there was a sense, especially among the hundreds and thousands of people who -- thousands of people who come into boston for the marathon. so many of whom come from all over the country. the boston marathon has a mythic quality among the elite running community. these people were out and showing not only their support for the city of boston but also for the marathon itself. i did not speak to a single runner who said that they wouldn't be back in 2014.
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>> john: it is great to heart city will not be terrorized. christine wilkie, reporter for "the huffington post," thank you for your excellent reporting and your time this evening. >> thanks for having me. >> john: also joining the show now to help shed light on the job of the investigators is counter-terrorism expert and author of "find fix finish," aki peritz. thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me on the show. >> john: of course. i have many questions. of course, a lot of the details we're learning now are beyond the comprehension of many laymen. is there any significance to the use of pressure cooker bombs as a device that's been described? how easy are bombs like this to produce? >> the bombs themselves are relatively easy to produce. the thing about the pressure cooker is that it is a very device to carry from one place to another. it is essentially a large metal pot. and as such, every single home
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depot or cooking place actually has these pressure cookers. you probably have them at your home. it is actually relatively easy to buy something like this. now, in terms of the bomb itself the explosive itself is fit within the pressure cooker itself. and developed to create a blast. dhs which is the department of homeland security, actually talked about this back in 2004 saying this is an easy way for individuals to create explosives throughout the world. >> john: what kind of clues do you imagine the investigators are looking for right now. what would be needed at this point to further the investigation? >> well, the easiest clue would be for somebody to take responsibility for this attack. that would be very, very helpful.absent that, they're looking for specific forensics within the bomb itself. there are certain piece of evidence, sort of like what your last individual said. they're going to be looking for forensic clues so whether it is
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a fingerprint, whether it is a certain signature they'll be looking for those things. they're also going checking out extremist organization web sites looking for chatter on the internet to see whether there's anymore evidence along those lines. >> john: what do you make of the fact that no one has as of yet taken credit for this attack? it does seem to be a bit outside the norm for an attack of this magnitude, doesn't it? >> it is still very much early in the game. it has been a little over 24 hours so perhaps the individual or organizations that are responsible for this are still getting their p.r. strategy together. however, terrorism is an act -- it is a public act of violence and if you don't really take credit for it, how do you know that you've accomplished your goal? as you talked about, the boston marathon will be going on next year. people like in the city of boston and massachusetts are being resilient in the face of this adversity. >> john: i don't think it is
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too early to claim the terrorism attack is a failure at effective terrorism. what about the fact that according to sources, there was no preattack chatter? what does that mean and does it indicate this might be the work of an individual? >> it certainly could be the work of an individual or a small cell of individuals. the government is full of human beings and they're not angels and they cannot see everything all the time. so perhaps as we go through the evidence you'll see wisps of something in the past. but say that it was very -- there was no advance warning is oftentimes an indication of maybe you missed the clues or it just didn't happen. >> john: you've seen the new photos of the purported devices used in the attack. what do you make of these photos and is this how the process in these investigations usually goes? >> well, one of the things i would like to emphasize for your audience is that let's not jump to conclusions on this. so, for example, the first photo, which was the package
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next to the mailbox obviously i've not looked at it extremely careful by but the postal box next to it seems to be relatively unscathed. if it was next to an exclusives and there were ball bearings and carpenter nails, you would see some evidence on the photo. >> john: i see. >> it is unclear whether this actually was a usable photo. that's the problem with investigations like this. there is a lot of information coming in. some of it is good. some of it is correct. but a lot of it is not correct. there are a lot of well-meaning people who want to help out in this investigation. but oftentimes, it leads to false leads. >> john: of course. i'm sure false leads have been the name of the game all day for investigators. how about the alleged discovery of the circuit board used as a trigger? how major of a discovery would that be and do you think one circuit board would be used for both bombs? >> well, the circuit board itself could have -- there could
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be a lot of interesting evidence upon it. so, for example if there is a fingerprint upon the circuit board or if there is some sort of other signature that would point investigators in the right direction, that would be great. however, circuit boards, you can buy at any store in the country. and so it actually might be, as well, a false lead. as long as you can have evidence and you can build evidence, you can actually start beginning to develop a profile of who might have actually done this. so it is an engaging lead but like i said, let's not jump to conclusion on this one. >> john: is there anything the authorities might have done better to prevent an attack like this from happening and anything more they can do in the future? >> well, that's one of the things about living in a free society. you can't actually stop every attack and that's one of the things that american citizens really have to understand. we've taken great strides since 9-11 to stop these attacks and we have thwarted many, many attacks in new york, in texas
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and in los angeles and in oregon and elsewhere. but these attacks or these attempts to make these attacks happen will continue to occur and every now and then, they will succeed. what i suggest is that americans stay vigilant and not let this undermine american civilization. terrorists are not actually going to undermine our civilization. >> john: well put. counter-terrorism expert aki peritz, thank you so much for your time and your expertise this evening. fascinating. >> thank you very much. >> john: thank you. we learned something yesterday about new media. new media can seen new mistakes and lots of them! we'll talk about that coming up next. (vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current.
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alright, in 15 minutes we're going to do the young turks. i think the number one thing that viewers like about the young turks is that we're honest. they know that i'm not bs'ing them with some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know that i'm going to be the first one to call them out. they can question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us. >> john: the good thing about around-the-clock media including social media is a great deal of information is able to be sent to the world quickly, reaching people wherever they might be. the drawback is this information doesn't necessarily go through the fact-checking process traditionally performed by good
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news gathering organization. which, in the case of yesterday's horrific attack at the boston marathon meant quite a few erroneous reports. the "new york post" was reporting "12 dead, nearly 50 injured." this at a time when the rest of the media was reporting the death toll at 2 and the post kept its headline up well into the evening. in another case of unconfirmed information, "wall street journal" breaking news owned by the same company as the post, you know who tweeted officials found what they believe are five additional undetonated explosive devices in the boston area. they later corrected themselves when this, too turned out to be not true. for more on this, i'm joined by eric boehlert and democratic strategist and director of american value institute alexis mcgill johnson. great to have you both here. i appreciate your brilliance on such a sad occasion. there are great things about twitter and social media as far as social services and getting
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information out to family. do you think yesterday was helped or hindered by the frenzy of social media? alexis? >> i think that what happens in social media is that it is reflecting a lot of conversations that we're having just back in the day. at the water cooler, right. we're all theorizing and we're all speculating because we want answers and there is a lot of anxiety. in some ways, i think twitter and social media is a huge relief for us around that anguish. but it is not responsible for news organizations to not have the same fact-checking process that they traditionally used. so i think that's where the breakdown is. >> john: did you get the feeling yesterday that possibly of some our news organizations were following the chatter they were reading on social media and wishful thinking just took over? >> two points. i think with each big story i think twitter and facebook and social media becomes more and more helpful. in a way, it becomes more and supporter response as people understand how it use it and set aside the crazy stuff. and there's lots of warns at
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least on my twitter feed yesterday, let's not jump to conclusion and things like that. you talk about news organizations, twitter and facebook were more reliable than the "new york post" yesterday. i mean seriously. to watch a news organization like that, to break two stories and get them so totally wrong and drag its feet and not post corrections and stuff like that, i would absolutely trust facebook or twitter more than i would trust the "new york post." >> john: but would you really considering the volume of people what were wrong about things on facebook? if i went by facebook and twitter, i would have thought the attack was carried out about american right-wing muslims from the middle east. >> i think also, that's a huge point. that the bias that exists, whether you're on the left or right, my concern about the social media feeds and some of the things that were being reported was that it also, getting that rush to judgment around profiling. who the possible suspect was. and that i think has a
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tremendous detrimental effect that doesn't live online. it has a real impact on people. >> look at the right-wing blogs. supposedly "a" list right way blog gateway pundit posted this poor saudi national who is considered a witness cooperating witness. this idiot on this web site posts photos, address and some phone -- not phone numbers but splashing his name all over the internet. pretending he's like a suspicious character or something like that. >> john: that's the same thing we saw a year ago with the family of george zimmerman, is it not. where a lot of respected liberals were posting what they thought was his dad's address. >> neverred a ago idea. -- never a good idea. it is incredibly irresponsible. i saw more irresponsible stuff on the right-wing blogs and rupert murdoch's right-wing newspaper than frankly on my twitter feed and on facebook. >> john: let's get back to rupert murdoch's right-wing
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networks. how harmful is to publications to have information that's wrong that stays throughout for that long? is it a case of where the readership of these two particular publications are so loyal, it will never be a problem? athink in the "wall street journal," i think you know, there is a lot of breaking news. we saw it after sandy hook. there were breaking events that weren't accurate. look, i mean twitter is live reporting. used to be you had three or four hours to double check this stuff. put it in print or online. and i think the "wall street journal" just got bad information. it is 24 hours. they still haven't really just now are they correcting the report about the saudi national, just this afternoon did they give up the ghost in terms of 12 dead and things like that. i think it is incredibly damaging. >> i don't think anybody looks for real, factual information. if it's not on page 6 they're not necessarily -- >> john: you don't have the same relatives i have. >> what's its bread and butter?
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supposed to be crime. if they can't do a crime story they're completely useless. >> john: alexis, a great deal of speculation on behalf the left yesterday. we saw chris matthews be somewhat wildly speculative about who might be behind this. is this sort of speculation ston expected? they have to go on live. they're in competition to get the most. did they have to fill it with whatever sounds dramatic that can come out of their mouths? >> apparently that's what they think they need to do? there are alternatives. they interviewed tons of people who were there getting the experience. i think a lot of people were drawn to the emotional experience that people were having and trying to understand, relating to back to previous experience and how people have coped, talking about what the president talked about. how americans came together the story of people helping each other. that's really what i think yesterday was about. it was about acknowledging that a huge tragedy happened and watching america rebuild itself. if people feel like they need to speculate on who did it without information, it is irresponsible
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regardless of which side you're on. >> john: is it to be expected on a day like that? >> i think if you have to go that many hours in a way it is. people want to know why why why. people won't just focus on the what happened and how did it feel and how are people dealing? there is probably a political element. so naturally people want to figure out why. everyone says don't speculate. and it is almost impossible. >> john: i spent the entire day watching journalists say it is so important not to speculate then give us five minutes of speculation. it crosses the line of telling your audience what you know they want to hear when it is a partisan network. >> "new york post" immediately throwing out the saudi national story. that led everyone in one direction. it was very comforting for the right-wing media to talk about a suspicious saudi national. >> john: there were also those who deliberately use false information or speculate to score political points. for example, from the right fox news contributor i'm sure you've heard of this, erik rush
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tweeted everybody do the national security ankle grab. let's bring more saudis in without screening them. c'mon! he also added, he says sarcastically, yes they're evil. kill them all referring to muslims. of course, he added that much later in the day. from the left, michael moore was more centic tweeting tax day patriots' day. normally someone would have to give these guys a platform to get their message out. thanks to social media they think it. they tweet it. it's out there. one thing for crazy uncle harry to do this. these are significant public figures. is this poisoning the national debate or is this the new normal? >> it is the new normal but i think we have a huge challenge because this doesn't just live online. this comes down and it actually affects the profiling. it happens to -- brown-skinned americans to anyone that could remotely be associated with this. i think tragedy on the right has been to try to increase anxiety
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around national security. and the more we do that, the more we're actually trying to create, you know, challenges for people who are living under these conditions. so i think we need to be way more responsible for those of us who are going to speculate i think we need to be way more responsible talking about the impact it will have on americans. >> john: agreed. eric? >> i think twitter is the window and there is no filter. when there is a big event people just start writing and twitter, if you do it, there is something about doing it angry. doing it when you're filled with anxiety. and sometimes people regret it. but it is a window into the way people are thinking and yesterday, people have some ugly thoughts. it is all out there. it is probably the new normal. news consumers have to take it all in and make their own judgment. >> john: when fear sells newspapers and draws eyeballs to your network it can be a casualty. eric boehlert and democratic
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strategist alexis mcgill johnson, always a pleasure to have both of you. thank you for your time. what about the boston marathon as a sporting event? we'll talk to sportswriter dave zirin about the future of this consumer institution.
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>> john: what can a lone act of terror do to the world of sports? i'll talk about it with dave zirin, sports editor with the "nation" magazine. thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. (vo) she's joy behar. >>current will let me say anything.
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>> john: sporting events are supposed to be an escape. a chance for people to get away from the frustration of everyday life. but with any sporting event, there is always the chance for disaster. thousands of people crowded into a confined space for an extended period of time, makes them an ideal target for these kind of disgusting attacks. over 200 were killed in atlanta at the olympics and eerily similar to the boston bombing 14 people were killed and over 80 injured when a bomb was set off at the start of the 2008 sri lanka marathon. when the sports world is attacked, it responds strongly. former new england patriots linesman joanne druzzi was at the marathon and helped to carry people away from the scene. newly signed wide receiver an dole la has pledged $100 for every pass he catches and $200 for every one he drops to help the victims at the bombing. let's bring in dave zirin sports editor for the nation. author of "game over" how politics has turned the sports
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world upside down. i'm grateful to you for joining us tonight. thank you so much for being here. >> great to be here, john. >> john: what were your thoughts initially when you heard about a bombing like this at such an historic and popular sporting event? >> my first thought was that this is an attack on the very idea that we could have such a thing as collective space. you know, the occupy movement of 2011, if nothing else, was about the idea that we could re-claim in our increasingly privatized country the idea of a public commons where people could gather together and speak about things that they care about and air grievances. the attack on the boston marathon is about attacking the very concept that we can come together collectively in an open space. and there was any event that a person could attack, that would also attack that concept, it would be the boston marathon. think about it for a second. it is called the boston marathon which sounds so parochial but it really is the world's marathon.
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96 countries represented over 20,000 runners 500,000 people, all who get to watch this amazing event for free. the world record holders are both from subsaharan africa, men and women. and this is one of the only times, think about that for a second. i want that to sink in. 500,000 people in boston, cheering on the achievements of people from all over the world! with the winners normally being from subsaharan africa. it is like no other event in the sporting landscape. when you attack the idea that we could come together at an event like that, you attack the very idea that we could come together at all. >> john: i agree. it only underscores the humanity to point out it is not an inherently american event. i want to ask you an unpleasant question i didn't hear asked much in the last 24 hours. are you surprised that this kind of atrocity doesn't happen more often at sporting events? >> i'm not. for two reasons.
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the first is that terrorist attacks actually don't happen very much at all. if you think about it. on the grand scale of things, they don't. when one of your previous guests was talking about terror plots that failed, i couldn't help but tick off how many of those involved the fbi approaching young people who are very troubled, trying to set up terror attacks and then arresting them at the spot. so, a real, actual terror cell that does one of these things, it doesn't happen much and second, look, going to a pro sporting event in the 21st century has already been affected by our post-9-11 world in very profound ways. you go in, you get wanded up and down, you get your bag checked. it is not like anybody is walking into madison square garden or the barkley center, for example. i just had that experience at the barclay. i thought i was going to have to bend and cough for a second. that's also what makes the boston marathon so special. it is about going out on to your stoop. it is about flooding into the
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streets. it is about having street parties while an athletic event happens around you. it is the most amazing communitiarian athletic spectual which tragically also made it a target. >> john: it is something we saw, of course, in the film last summer "the dark knight rise" where it was a terrorist attack on a pro football game but in the real world, you're right. we haven't seen anything on this scale since the 1996 olympics. dave, do you have any fear this act of terrorism will become a defining moment in the history of the boston marathon? >> i think it certainly is. and we have to remind ourselves that it can't be. i have a good friend from vietnam and she always says to me remember, vietnam is a country, not a war. and it is so important that when we think of the boston marathon, of course we need to think about what occurred on monday but we need to look at it like a scar on the face of the boston marathon, something we need to live with. we also need to realize there is
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a lot more to the face. it goes back to 1897. it includes so many brilliant trials tribulations and stories. it is place of heartbreak hill, for goodness sake, the fourth hill in newton, runners in subis a -- subsaharan africa. that's what we need to treasure. my great fear though, john, is next year's boston marathon, i know that you have said and i do respect the sentiment very much that next year is going to be an unbelievably joyous affair of people coming together but i have to say as someone who's been to the olympics on numerous occasions and i usually go before the olympics start and that's my beat and poke my nose around, it is much more of a militarized spectacle than you would ever know by watching the olympic coverage. >> john: of course. >> that's my concern for next year's marathon. it is going to be a research and development surveillance free for all. >> john: no doubt it will be
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heavily secured. we think of the olympics or atlanta, we don't associate it with the tragic bombing of 1996. we never forget what happened but that tragic event has not come to define either the olympics or that city, right? >> you're right. in an international sense but for people who lived in atlanta through that time and not just the bombing but who also lived through the police, who were caught in a terrible scandal in atlanta, by filling out arrest slips in advance and writing young black male by the hundreds and going out and arresting -- and filling arrest quotas, the yolk in atlanta was the new prison built for the olympics was the only thing built on-time and under budget. the fear that will be boston's future. what's so tragic about it is unlike the olympics which is, of course, watched by billions around the world, the boston marathon for being this global event is so much of a boston event. and the idea that that would be taken from the city of boston in the way that it has always been
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is also, in a way that it's taken from the rest of us as well. >> john: dave zirin, author of "game over," thank you for coming on tonight. >> my privilege john. >> john: how long before we can start politicizing a national tragediment if you're just starting to do it now, some people are more than a day ahead of you. my panel of nonexperts joins me to talk about that.
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>> john: two things that are certain to come out of events such as yesterday's tragedy in boston are one people will try to politicize the tragedy. and two people will foreociously criticize people who try to politicize the tragedy. earlier today former massachusetts representative barney frank was quick to point out what's felt was the political take away from this particular atrocity. >> let's be thankful we've spent tax money to build up the capacity to do this. let's be thankful we had a police department and fire department and public health people.
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it is fashionable for people to talk about how they reduce government. i'm glad they weren't as successful as they wanted to be. >> do you feel like you're capitalizing and making political hay of this event that happened? >> i'm talking common sense. i'm saying if the sequester had gone through and we had not had enough money we wouldn't be able to do this. >> john: okay, while the last point of his point is a reach in spite of a sequester cops would have helped the injured. he had the same instinct as nicholas kristof who tweeted explosion is a reminder that atf needs a director. shame on senate republicans for blocking appointment. mr. kristof was quick to realize the poor timing and deleting the tweet and saying people jumping on me for criticizing senate republicans for blocking atf appointments, that was a low
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blow. i take it back. joining me now to discuss when it is okay to discuss the politics of a tragedy and what that conversation ought to look like please welcome director of communications for the new york state republican state committee, political quell umist in and commentator david laska make his first appearance on the program. forbes contributor rick ungar and creator of the dean's report.com dean obeidallah. rick, i want to start with you. you're a democrat. leaving aside barney frank's argument for a second, let me ask you this, is it too soon for him to be making those comments? the same interview he referred to this as a teaching moment, a way of justifying something political he just said as having a valid point. is it a correct justification? >> you know, he is the one example of where it is a tough call. it really is because he wasn't trying to pin anybody, blame anybody so much. he was making a point. i have to tell you what he was talking about, i kind of woke up this morning thinking about something very similar and really wanted to write it and decided not to yet.
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>> john: if he says this is proof. it is tax day. this is proof that you pay taxes for government and you have first responders, you have infrastructure, i'm with him on that. as soon as he got to these hypotheticals about the sequester, which cannot be proved -- >> although, actually -- i don't want to do the same thing but in fact, first responders are going to feel pain from the sequester but my own decision on this and it is your own call was i needed to wait a few days to talk about that. look, the best rule to follow if you're a writer or barney frank is think first about what people are going through today. and there are some people up in boston who were having to say a horrible day would be a dramatic understatement. start with them. then go from there. >> john: dave, the same argument was made after the newtown tragedy where those argued that gun control proponents were politicizing the murder of those children. to you, is that a different situation than this? >> it is.
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i disagree with rick. i think it was inappropriate. there was still chaos in the air. barney frank the facts were still emerging. let's call a spade a spade here. >> he actually didn't talk about the facts. he didn't actually talk about the terrorist attack. he was talking about the first responders. >> he was making a point about the taxes used to pay for the first responders and saying on the day of this tragedy that if republicans had their way -- >> weren't you appreciative of the first responders? >> of course. >> public leaders shouldn't be making political hits. >> john: back to newtown for one second. i think it is okay to exploit a tragedy like this when it is in service of preventing the next tragedy. so, in the case of newtown, i would say if you come out and say this is a perfect example of why we need more gun safety legislation, i'm with you. if you say this is why teaches deserve higher pay you're exploiting it for something completely different. would you agree with that
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statement? here's the real difference in newtown and the gun debate in general is people used -- public officials used the newtown tragedy to promote piece of legislation. we had that here in new york with the new york safe act, a bill rushed through the state legislature and the result of that was that every police officer woke up the next day a criminal. because the new law wasn't written to exclude police officers. it was a laughably bad piece of legislation. >> john: incredibly popular one as well. >> well, you know. what does that say? >> john: let me bring dean in. you're a muslim. i don't know if i can trust you yet. those on the right tried to politicize -- i can only imagine what kind of day it was for you yesterday emotionally because i was reading the same twitter you were. a lot of our friends on the right tried to politicize the attack. >> one in particular. >> john: there was a lot of embarrassing stuff out there. based on a "new york post" very early report that a saudi national was the suspect steve king of iowa said...
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>> john: laura ingraham and others echoed the need to look at immigration. it remains absolutely zero evidence this act was perpetrated by anyone from another country. isn't this the same kind of an exploitation to advance a completely separate political agenda? >> it is. steve king is a jackass. i don't like him or louie gohmert, all of the right wing -- >> john: louie gohmert exploiting this off of -- >> we live in a hyper partisan world right now. americans were brought together. within an hour, two people are fighting on twitter about this, accusing things. it is a false flag operation. domestic terrorist? foreign terrorist. i was attacked for saying something about the bush administration it was not intended to be political. it is not partisan what i meant in it. we live in a hyperpartisan world. any moment of goodwill and us
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coming together are gone within hours on twitter. barney frank steve king, left or right we live in this cloudy mate. >> you said both sides. >> john: i was appalled by what a lot of so-called liberals were saying. in the case of steve king, i was disappointed in this him because if one misbehaving gun owner does something you can't tarnish all gun owners but if it is one misbehaving student on a visa -- >> we'll have to answer for that sin. >> let's be fair. congressman king was responding to a report. it was a report from the "new york post" that they had a saudi national here on a student visa. >> they reported it was then widely reported. look, it was wrong. that's why everybody especially public officials have to be vigilant and can't go off and take the first report. >> john: would you agree that representative king was guilty of the same malfeasance as
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barney frank for spinning it into his own issue of choice? >> not necessarily. the difference is between talking about policy and politics. it is different because immigration reform is pending in the united states congress right now. this is a major -- >> john: the sequester debate. >> barney frank is no longer a sitting member of congress. >> john: does that mean dick cheney is no longer to comment because he's not a sitting vice president? >> i'm talking about the differences, martin luther king is talking. he is a sitting member of congress. commenting about a pending piece of legislation whereas barney frank finds himself irrelevant and is desperate for a soapbox after 30 years in congress. >> john: it is 30 years representing the very city that was attacked. i wouldn't call him irrelevant. i thank you for the point. great to have you here. director of communications for the new york republican state committee, david laska. rick ungar and dean obeidallah, guys, wish he could do this all
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night. we're just beginning to open the box on this. but first, what do we make of the boston marathon tragedy and the outrage that came online afterwards? it could depend on whose twitter feed you could be reading. that's in my commentary coming up next.
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>> john: they say journalism is the first draft of history which means twitter is really the first draft of the first draft of history and any editor or writer will tell you first drafts are always complete crap. if you don't believe me, take a look at the bipartisan cluster frac of unsubstantiated accusation and bias speculation that was twitter in the first 24 hours following the horrific bomb attack at the boston marathon. i couldn't believe how many liberals absolutely knew it was a right-wing hate patriot right away. the last time that many liberals supported an idea with no justification, the idea was named john edwards. how many conservatives were completely certain it was the return of al-qaeda. personally, i hope the saudis weren't behind this because
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history shows if that were the case, we would have to invade iraq again. the world has been filled with people who jump to conclusion and maybe unsun stantiated claims. now they do in 140 characters or less. if you have a post-tragedy vacuum that needs to be filled, twitter has all of the irresponsible trolls for all of your filler needs. friends, we now live in the golden age of online niche scapegoat culture which i'm qualified to rant about because i'm on a niche cable show and thanks to time-warner is the nichiest of niches because when something terrible like this happens, there is always a certain percentage of people who sit at their computer and say hey, you know what? this is really all about me. disasters make brave people braver and dumb people dumber. while brave people rush to serve others dumb people rush their own interest. they place blame. otherwise, smart liberals declared unfairly and unliberally that the crime was obviously perpetuated by some right-winger, prompting some right-wingers to take a break
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from muslims and they were being horribly victimized while the people who were victimized laid bleeding or dead in the hospital. just like that, twitter resembled the new season of mad men. instead of blaming the people you don't like already why can't we all come together on the fact that as of now none of us know what the hell happened. can't we agree on this? because to all of you people with magical mental powers who seem to be able to predict who is behind this bombing where exactly were the psychic abilities when we could have used them before the marathon? all of the ignorance on display the last two days has been completely nonpartisan. this information, wishful thinking disinformation isn't right wing or left wing, democrat or republican. this time, look, it was a false
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flag to bring about a new world order. he wants to believe it. congressman steve king doesn't believe illegal immigrants planted the bomb which is why we have to kill immigration reform. he wants to believe it. people are so quick to believe it was the muslims because they don't like them. they're eager to believe it was the right-wingers because they don't like them. you want to believe in something? believe in the people of boston. believe in the first responders running into the blast site. the marathoners running to donate blood for the wounded. believe in the soldiers helping with the debris, the ordinary americans putting other people's needs above their own and helping their wounded countrymen. whenever a tragedy like this happens, we need to have a delete button to filter out the garbage we hear. your enemy is the person who did this, not the people you really despise for having different views. all of our anger should be directed toward whoever did this. we can always be disdainful of alex jones on any given day at a later date. that's "viewpoint" for tonight. i'm john fuglesang. thank you for watching us.
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i want to thank all of our guests this evening. we -- we'll be back tomorrow night. it has been a pleasure to be with you during this painful event. have a great evening. good night mom. >> obama: the aftermath of the explosions were stories of heroism and kindness and generosity and love. exhausted runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood and those who stayed to tend to the wounded. some tearing off their own clothes to make tourniquets. the first responders who ran into the chaos to save lives. if you want to know who we are what america is, how we respond to evil, that's it. selflessly compassionately unafraid. >> joy: that was president obama speaking eloquently on the twin bombings at yesterday's boston marathon which killed three people. one of them an